Offsetting Travel Impacts with Trees

green_saltlake_badge_smWhen traveling to Salt Lake this year by plane or by car, as much as we like to talk about how much fun you'll have here, how close the mountains are and how hosting a meeting in Salt Lake has so much to offer, the truth is that traveling to Salt Lake emits a fair amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

This travel however is not limited to visitors and meeting goers but also includes the SLCVB staff, who commute to the office and travel around the country.

To help combat the impact visiting Salt Lake has on the environment, the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau (SLCVB) recently launched its own online carbon offset program where you can calculate the carbon emited from your travels. The SLCVB’s carbon offset program is in partnership with Tree Utah and done in conjunction with Salt Lake County’s “One Million Trees” program.

To jump-start the program and practice what it preaches to Salt Lake visitors, the SLCVB estimated the staff’s travel in 2009 (1 million miles) and calculated its own carbon footprint utilizing its carbon calculator (212 tons of carbon emissions). The SLCVB then purchased 424 trees to double the offset of its own estimated impact on the environment. (The SLCVB Carbon Offset program estimates a $10 purchase of trees to offset one ton of carbon emissions.)
We feel it’s critical to not only offer such programs for our visitors, but to actively participate and show our stewardship for the environment and our future, particularly in Salt Lake where we’re literally surrounded by nature,” said Scott Beck, President and CEO of the SLCVB. “For just $5, you can purchase a seedling that will help offset half a ton of carbon. Imagine the impact one million trees will have over time, not only to the atmosphere but to our community as a whole.

In an effort to maximize the benefits Salt Lake receives from this project, every tree purchased as part of the carbon offset program is being planted in Salt Lake County. This quick-and-easy way to make a difference is in conjunction with Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon’s “One Million Trees for One Million People” program, a 10-year campaign with the goal of planting one million trees in Salt Lake County by 2017. The trees are being planted and cared for by TreeUtah, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tree planting and education.

The calculator located here on the Visit Salt Lake website and pictured below will show you how much carbon is emited from your travels and links to a website where with you can offset carbon emissions by purchasing a tree.


I’m encouraged that individuals, as well as public and private organizations, are recognizing the importance of protecting the natural environment,” commented Mayor Corroon. “I applaud the efforts of the SLCVB to offset its impact on our planet.

Click the image above to calculate your carbon emission and purchase the necessary trees to offset it